Less than a week to go the the UK’s main GIS Show and full marks to the AGI, for putting together what I think is one of the most interesting conference agenda’s in years.. If this years range of topics and speakers is not enough to get “bums on seats”, it is hard to see what else the conference organisers could have done to produce a conference to meet the needs of the GI industry in the UK.
But there is the challenge.. the UK industry is mature and dominated by a small number of large vendors, the OS and ESRI(UK) really stand out, and most users are fully aware of what is going on in the industry from the web and personal contacts – yes the industry really is that small in the UK. The AGI also represents a wide range of opinions and interests, so its often difficult to see a clear direction in its activities.
The AGI should be commended for inviting the “new” players this year, in the form of Google and Microsoft, but there is also something of a “organisation gap” as many of innovators who are very active in the UK, the likes of Steve Coast and Mikel Maron, are not traditional GIS people so it is good to see the “non-GIS” approach to using GI represented by Tom Steinberg of mySociety.
For the AGI however success will not come from positive comments, the “Bums of seats” is an important element here, as the conference and exhibition has become the major revenue stream for the AGI.
So.. if you have not decided on attending yet, its not too late – remember if you don’t go this year there might not be a conference or even an AGI next year !!
Written and submitted from the Bruntsfield Hotel, Edinburgh, using my Vodafone 3G network card.